Jack Saturday

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 468-470

The book I’ll assign you to read if you haven’t already read it is Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. Here the wealthiest man in the world, the most powerful man in the world, the Emperor of Rome writes a book that’s still in print and widely read, that says that nothing money can buy or nothing power can earn, has any importance at all! That none of it produces happiness, that all of it produces is addictions. That to be free you need to be free of.
John Taylor Gatto

You indeed are the one and only lord of the ten thousand chariots of your estate. But you use your dignity to embitter the lives of the people, and to pamper your ears, eyes, nose and mouth. But your spirit does not acqiesce in this. The spirit of man [sic] loves to be in harmony with others, and hates selfish indulgence. This selfish indulgence is a disease, and therefore I would comfort you under it.
Chuang Tzu

Juridically they are both equal [the worker and capitalist]; but economically the worker is the serf of the capitalist . . . thereby the worker sells his [sic] person and his liberty for a given time. The worker is in the position of a serf because this terrible threat of starvation which daily hangs over his head and over his family, will force him to accept any conditions imposed by the gainful calculations of the capitalist, the industrialist, the employer… The worker always has the right to leave his employer, but has he the means to do so? No, he does it in order to sell himself to another employer. He is driven to it by the same hunger which forces him to sell himself to the first employer. Thus the worker's liberty… is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means for its possible realisation, and consequently it is only a fictitious liberty, an utter falsehood. The truth is that the whole life of the worker is simply a continuous and dismaying succession of terms of serfdom -- voluntary from the juridical point of view but compulsory from an economic sense -- broken up by momentarily brief interludes of freedom accompanied by starvation; in other words, it is real slavery.
Mikhail Bakunin


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